Based in Los Angeles, Ben Hopkins has worked as a Digital Imaging Technician since 2010, focusing on television commercials, network promos and 2nd unit / pilot television series. Ben has also worked in features within the specialty of High Speed Phantom Technician and has been an owner/operator of a Phantom Flex4K since 2017. Ben is a member of the local 600 union (IATSE’s International Cinematographer’s Guild – ICG-600) and a member of the Visual Effects Society (VES).
Ben Hopkins began his career with a degree from Pepperdine University in Telecommunications (Television Production) and interned in a Hollywood boutique editorial house for TV commercials. He learned the craft of creative editorial on the still-new, computer based, non-linear editing system, AVID, and quickly became valuable as a freelance assistant editor at several top creative editing companies. He learned the bedrock of digital post-production workflow, taking a project from “in the can” film to a final, digitally mastered piece, including visual effects, graphic design, sound design/mix and final creative color correction. After working nights and weekends to create his own demo reel, he made the jump to commercial editor where he worked on several spots and promos.
Ben’s freelance editorial career landed him at Electronic Arts (EA) in Los Angeles, but instead of commercials, he edited cut-scene cinematics for Newline Cinema’s Lord of the Rings franchise. Ben’s work helping release the real-time strategy game “The Battle for Middle-earth” (2004) was met with an offer to join the team, full-time. For the next 6 years he worked as the Senior Editor and later, Post Production Supervisor and Video Director for several RTS titles, including Lord of the Rings, Command and Conquer and Red Alert. Ben received two nods from the Visual Effects Society’s annual awards with nominations for “Best Visual Effects in a Video Game Cinematic Cut Scene” in 2007 and 2008 for his work on Command and Conquer-Tiberium Wars and Red Alert 3.
During his time at Electronic Arts, Hopkins designed and built a facility-wide, multi-seat FinalCut Pro editorial network, with fast, shared SAN media storage for every game-team including the marketing department. He pioneered several on-set post workflow techniques and practices for shoots using the Sony F900 HDCam digital camera and Red’s new Red One digital cinema camera. Creating the ability to add a look and sync sound on the stages allowed the editor to start cutting after each day’s footage was shot. He also brought the practice to his game studio of color-calibrating the artist’s workstation monitors so that there was consistency in look and match for the approval process. Little did he know that these practices were being pioneered in Hollywood, parallel to his own, and that the position had been dubbed, DIT.
In 2010 Ben left EA in pursuit of a freelance life again, working as an editor for an animated series while also training for and picking up jobs as a Digital Loader and DIT for commercials. With passion for on-set, post and VFX pipelines, combined with a love of creative color correction, Hopkins stopped editing to focus fully on helping clients benefit from the knowledge of a Digital Imaging Technician. Since then, Ben has worked for dozens of DPs on every major digital cinema camera system, creating live, custom, creative looks on-set, and processing dailies transcodes for most of his clients. He is looked to as the chief technologist for the camera department, and for coordination with the project’s Post-Production department.